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Raising orphaned lambs.
This lambing season I figured I would take on a pair of orphaned lambs. With our weather at the minute thousands of livestock have died because of the snow. The likelyhood of an orphaned lamb popping up is very.
Although I am in the local farming community I have never raised an orphaned lamb so if you have any experience I look forward to your input!
I have several questions:
1. Will a wooden shed with a small pen made out of straw walls in the inside and straw bedding be warm enough? Maybe too warm?
2. How many days should I feed colostrum for?
3. What age should I start giving food other than milk? Should it be lamb meal, hay/haylage or both? How much?
4. When should I start letting them out in fresh air to stretch their legs?
5. If I get two identical lambs can I use food colouring to dye a small part(like a dot on its back) on one of them so I know who's who?
6. Should I feed store goats milk or powdered sheeps milk? Is there much difference? Goats milk certainly helped my weak pup and she sprouted into a healthy little beast in no time!
I think that's all I've got right now but I'm not sure I've covered everything myself. Your input would be greatly appreciated!
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Depending on how cold it is,a shelter and pen with straw bedding should be just fine.
Ewes generally only produce colostrum for the first 24 hours after birth,so I'd feed colostrum for that long as well.
I would set out hay and whatever type of lamb feed mix you have there right from the start;they often will start nibbling on solid feed within a few days,although they don't really start eating that much of it until a week or older.
You can have them out in the fresh air right away,they'll love the chance to play and stretch their legs. :)
Food grade coloring/dye won't hurt them;you may also be able to get livestock markers/crayons there,that's what we use here.
I've always fed powdered sheep milk or cow's milk fresh from the cow,never tried goat's milk.
Hope that helps!
I used milk replacer for sheep, and had to use a regular baby bottle , just an expensive plastic one, the nipples I got at the feed store for sheep were rejected by the lamb.
Were they the nipples that just slip onto the bottle? Those things are a joke,way too big for their little mouths,hard to get on/off,ect. I use the the ones that screw on,they're much smaller and shaped better for their mouths. They fit on a 1 liter pop bottle,so no need to buy a bottle,just get one out of the recycle and clean it well. :)
1. That pen idea sounds great--no such thing as too warm! :-)
2. Feed colostrum for the first 48 hours, every two hours (even at night! :shock:)
3. Whenever he's ready, when they're with they're moms they'll start nibbling in just a few weeks even if they can't eat it yet, so just always give them the option, and bring them out with the other lambs to play as often as possible so they can see the others eating the real stuff and so the herd doesn't reject them (happens very easily to goats, not so sure about sheep but it's very bad if it does happen.)
4. Again, as soon as possible :-) Just take them out on their own, or if you're worried about them running off just put them in a dog collar :-P If you're worried about the snow, you can put booties and dog sweaters and stuff on them (I've actually done this, lol :-P )
5. Sure, they'll lose the color as soon as their baby wool is sheared, and the dye is meant to be edible :)
6. Try to avoid the powdered formulas, contrary to what people think, the regular store-bought whole milk will do you more good than anything. If you can, try milking an ewe that has lost a lamb, that would be the absolute best thing for them :-) But if you must go powdered, goat milk will be fine :-)
Hope I could help! :)
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